Karen with her car

Opinion: Saved from a dud deal by tyres test

I’m just about to shell out for 4 new car tyres. Apparently my old ones were in appalling condition. I had no idea.

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Thanks to a passing motorcyclist who motioned to me yesterday, I was alerted to a slow leak on the front left. After putting some air in last night, I drove straight to a tyre centre this morning. I went to 2. The message was the same at both – you need 4 new tyres – so all good there.

The first place recommended a tyre and gave me a price. Of course, I immediately went online and checked the 225/60 R17 tyres we’ve tested here at Consumer. The tyre quoted got 60% in our test, wasn’t recommended and wasn’t even worth considering. At 4.5 out of 10 for wet cornering and 5 out of 10 for wet braking, I could do better to keep my family safe. Thank goodness for my Consumer membership. If I’d shelled out more than $1000 and later found out they weren’t that good, I’d feel rightly ripped off.

I found a retailer that sold some of the tyres recommended from Consumer’s test, and took my car down there. I had the report open and was looking at the results as the salesman took me through my options. I got Consumer’s top-equal tested tyre – overall score 85%, 9 out of 10 for wet cornering and 7 out of 10 for wet braking – for only $100 more. The guy was lovely, impressed by my decision-making criteria based on Consumer’s test results, and apparently I got a sharp deal. I’m so happy. If I have to spend more than a grand on tyres, at least I know I’ve spent well. Thanks Consumer.

(Completely unbiased, based on fact, even though I work here!)

Karen McDonald is Consumer NZ deputy CEO/head of marketing and business development. And a fully paid-up member of Consumer.